As an example: imagine you do painting commisions. It's fine to mention this in your sig and to showcase the commision models you paint in the off-topic showcase. What isn't allowed is posting lots of other threads in say wargames discussion stating that you're taking on commisions every time you've got a slot free, or advertising the e-bay store you sell your painted minis through in the marketplace.
There's nothing stopping 'hey, check it out!' threads. Members are free to do what Clam is doing and post cool finds, you just can't plug your own company.
@Tarrakk - It would be fine for you to maintain a single blog about running a hobby store in say the off-topic section, indeed it would be a pretty interesting subject. What wouldn't be allowed under site rules would be starting a new thread every time your store ran a competition, event or got new stock. Nor could you just keep bumping your blog when it fell down the page, as at that point it's becoming advertising rather than a discussion.
Please tell me what is and isn't allowed on this web site as all this seems totally contradictory and biased!
On the one hand, you're saying we can't advertise our own companies, or sell our items in The Marketplace. So what is allowed there?
Are you saying that if I, for example, did comission painting, yet I had some commission fall through and I happened to have some 2000 point painted army, that I couldn't then put it in The Market Place to sell off because I owned my own business? Yet others could post their painted army collection if they didn't own their own business? This seems realitivly contradictory and in favor of certian members while others are squashed out.
Also, if someone has an E-bay (Or other type of store) and decided to post something, say a single mini that they wanted to sell, that they can't have a cross-link post in The Market Place to that E-bay site, where there is some kind of secure payment system that members can use to their benefit? Isn't buying, selling and trading what The Market Place is all about? Why lock out the people who want to sell a few things off that might own their own business while another Joe can list his stuff?
So why even allow a Market Place listing on this site?
Also, you're saying that you want me to maintain a blog on my store, yet if I have something to announce, that I can't do it in case it happens to bump my blog up the page?
So if I happen to have a week in which I want to announce that I'm hosting 'Ard Boys, and then some other people come into my store with a model car event or some other thing, and I happen to post 'Ard Boys on Monday, then on Wednesday, I post about the model car event, then on Friday I post the airplane event (As people drop this stuff off to me) that you'd claim I was trying to bump up my Blog for the sake of "Advertising"?
The whole point behind Blogs are that they're a continual development of the events and thoughts of the one posting the Blog. If mine is chained up to my hobby shop, then the blog would continue to come up as I developed it. Even if I posted things about terrain I was building for 'Ard Boys, it would still bump it to the top of The Market Place each time I posted something, even if I wasn't trying to make a sale. So what am I suppose to discuss then?
Also, the thing I don't understand is that people can post all they want about GW events and other stores that host them in the Wargaming section, yet if I post that I'm hosting one, that's some kind of crime? I know for a certainty that if I posted about 'ard Boys in my blog, that no one would look at it as no one really wants to weed their way through 5 pages of info to see that I'm hosting 'ard Boys. - Members here want to know and talk about 'ard Boys. Why am I not allowed to tell them that I'm hosting one? It's not like 'Ard Boys comes up every day. 1 post about it once every "Blue Moon" can't kill anyone, can it? I'm not making money off this announcement as it's all covered by GW and there's no entry fee - therefore, it's not a sale. Have I abused this by creating a single thread? Yeah, ok, punish me if I did 200 threads, I can see that...but one?
Also, you're saying that anyone finding a cool mini has free reign to post unlimited threads about it, as long as it's not your own? So indirectly, everyone is allowed to give free advertising to Scibor and his Moscals, or the AOW CD with the Axe in numerous posts all over this web site about 50 times a day (Which ALWAYS happens), yet if someone creates a mini they themselves want to sell, they can't just come right out and say "I made this and want to sell it"? Therefore, Scibor and the rest get known all over CDO wheil the other "Upstart" guys can't even say "Hello"?
I doubt if Scibor or AOW will come to their rescue and will post here saying "Hey! Look at this Cool Mini that Tarrakk built", as an example.
So what are we, as business "Guys" suppose to do in this situation? Harass all the other members in PM's asking them to post a thread saying "Please look my this mini and then make an "indirect advertising thread" about it"? Or maybe I could send Thommy H $200 and tell him to continually post "Check out Monster Hobbies" threads all over the place? I'm sure that staff would love that one!
There's a simple solution to all of this, and I'm surprised you haven't discussed it yet - MAKE SUB-Forums in The Market Place!
Examples of sub forms could be announcements of new mini's, store events and new store inventory, commision painting, Store "Blogs" (let some of the other guys have them too)and "Check Out This Cool Mini". This way, everyone could do what they wanted for business and it wouldn't detract from threads like "The Showcase" or GW CD announcements, or whatever.
Keep the GW announcements where they are for the sake that CD's are GW's property...etc, and if CD's make their triumphant return, that CDO wants to promote this. - that part of it is all good as it is.
I can understand the concern here being that you don't want to wake up one morning, as a moderator, and find that The Market Place has been spammed and there's 75 identical posts showcasing Scibor's web site, or some other simular thread. (hopefully in that situation, you'd rebuke the poster)
Therefore, have a simple restriction like - You can't post your "Market Place" topic in other non-market place threads. And as mods, you guys should be moving this stuff around to the correct threads if someone does and notifying repeating offending members if they're on "Thin Ice" by abusing the policy or whatever.
Or the second solution is to totally eliminate The Market Place entirely.
Here's another thought for you...what about advertising You-Tube web sites? Although these are not making "Sales" as it were, it's still "advertising" for views. What's the policy on this?